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When men become chairs

by Samuel Stephen Wakdok


Many proud and arrogant people no doubt have succeeded greatly in different endeavors of life, but pride has also cost the world so much. Arrogance has led men and nations to wars, pride has killed generations and arrogance has destroyed families and homes. Humanity has found itself at the mercies of arrogant people at one point or the other.
The build-up of arms and ammunition, the invasion of lands and countries and attacks on the inhabitants are all fall outs of pride. Pride is responsible for the greed to have all and thus exploitation. The pride of people who feel their ego rather than conscience must be obeyed has led the world to various misfortunes.

Humility which is the opposite of pride is seldom always found, yet no humble man or woman has ever been known to regret his or her humility. True great people have always been humble; Gandhi, Mandela, Lincoln, King, Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Pope John Paul etc. Humility is a virtue many people would rather not want to court. We will not certainly allow the other party to carry the day. No; the world will call us weak when we allow our humility to chase away that ego that demands respect, that ego to covet all, that ego to oppress others.

I have seen humility in a few people which is highly commendable, but the greatest I have seen is in chairs. The chairs squat all their lives on earth to enable you and I sit. Can we beat that? Competition is good and it brings about choices and varieties. Pride, however, has led to unhealthy competitions and rivalries among individuals, groups, organizations, religions and even nations. Lacking the humility and simplicity of the chairs is what makes men lie, steal and even kill to protect what they feel is theirs and in some cases; what is not even theirs. Pride and unhealthy competition make us cheat even if just to show ourselves in a better light than what we truly are. Pride and ego are what make organizations falsify their results and exaggerate their capabilities or achievements.

The chairs of this world have the patience none of us will be ready or pleased to have. Chairs squat for years to see students through schools, to sit us at homes, to sit visitors and researchers, to sit business men and politicians. As inanimate as these chairs are, what will be the fate of human beings in a world without chairs? From the dining table to the sitting rooms; from the church to the conference room; from the car to the aeroplane.

Do these chairs not deserve our commendation? Have we ever given these chairs the glory of passing an exam, of clinching a deal we negotiated on a round table, or the growth of our businesses etc.?

Rather when we graduate from school we leave them behind, when we gain promotions we discard our old seats but the chairs do not get jealous that we left them behind or we would leave them behind when we succeed from point A to point B.

The chairs of this world should teach us to be humble, simple and selfless. Many at times we ought to be the chairs that will lead to success, lead to break-through, lead to inventions. We cannot become furniture but metaphorically speaking we must be humble and patient like the chairs to enable us to act as catalyst which will lead to greatness, harmony and development. And unlike the chairs made of furniture that is lifeless, we have the privilege of seeing the results of our virtues, which is transforming the world and leaving good legacies behind.

This article was originally titled as "The Chairs of  this world".

When men were boys - Chapter 1: Letter to a damsel
When men face uncertainties


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